What’s the story?
England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan is the latest cricketer to pick his all-time XI and has included few of the best cricketers to have graced the sport. The Irish-born English cricketer has picked three cricketers from South Africa, two each from India, England and Australia and one from West Indies and Sri Lanka in his XI.
He has named former England captain Alastair Cook as the captain of his team with one of the two Indians in the XI, MS Dhoni (Anil Kumble is the other Indian) as the wicketkeeper.
Eoin Morgan’s All Time XI: Alastair Cook (C), Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, AB de Villiers, Kumar Sangakkara, MS Dhoni (WK), Anil Kumble, James Anderson, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson.
In case you didn’t know...
Over the last 12 months, Lord’s Cricket Ground have been announcing the All-Time XIs of some of the greatest players (past and present international cricketers) to have played this sport. The likes of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, New Zealand great Brendon McCullum, England’s Test skipper Joe Root etc. have revealed their playing XI.
Extra cover: Two Indians included in Sourav Ganguly’s all-time XI
The heart of the matter
Morgan’s playing XI has 7 batsmen and 4 frontline bowlers and the left-handed batsman had a surprise in store by picking South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis as Alastair Cook’s opening partner. Morgan’s strong middle order features former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, West Indian legend and his childhood idol, Brian Lara, South African star batsman AB de Villiers, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and India’s wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni.
His bowling department consists of three fast bowlers and just one spinner in India’s Anil Kumble. He also picked modern-day greats James Anderson and Dale Steyn as his new ball bowlers and said that the reason behind picking the duo is Steyn’s pace and Anderson’s swing will do wonders for any team. Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson finishes off Morgan’s XI that looks formidable on paper.
As mentioned above, Morgan’s playing XI looks formidable but there were few areas where he could have made better choices. Firstly, Jacques Kallis is someone who has played in the middle order throughout his career. So, it would have been better if he was picked in the middle order instead of a wicketkeeper (there are three wicketkeepers in his XI) to accommodate a frontline opener. In spite of having the likes of MS Dhoni and Ricky Ponting in his XI, Morgan’s decision to have Cook as the captain looks baffling.